Changing Things Around

Cat Update: Jules has been here for one week and thinks she’s got seniority, but new cat (and sister) Cali has proven otherwise by refusing to give in so easily. It’s been a few days together and they’re not playfighting nearly as much, though they’ll have bouts of chasing each other down our long hallway in full noisy gallop. I think we’ve cured them of waking us up for 2am playtime, but they’ve exchanged that with the 9pm tussling under our bed and the 5am Why Aren’t You Awake Yet. It’s a learning curve for everyone, I guess.

Anyway! As you can well imagine, my writing schedule is falling short due to Watching the Cats (to make sure they settle in well in their new home) and waking up early for the Day Job. It is what it is, and given that it’s also Q4, I will not be surprised if I eventually feel burnout in the next couple of weeks.

BUT! I refuse to let the writing fall by the wayside. I just have to keep focusing on it with the time that I do have. Twitter is currently having its New Owner Dumpster Fire Event which is keeping me from doomscrolling over there. I’ve got my close friends on Discord (we now have a dedicated channel just for our cat pictures, by the way) to keep me company. And of course I still have KEXP to listen to while working in Spare Oom.

It is what it is. I’m used to my writing schedule going all kinds of wonky during Q4. And considering I’m now working retail, the exhausting chaos will be ramping up very soon. I’m only thankful my job frowns on forced overtime (thank you, UFCW Local 648!) and our store is small compared to other outlets. It’ll be busy but not always overwhelmingly so. I’ll always have time to get at least something done each day if I put my mind to it.

And thankfully, the cats are currently sleeping in the cat tree so I can have some me time!

Cats

This isn’t set in stone just yet as it depends on a few things…but there is a possibility that we might be looking into adopting a cat.

I know, right? For anyone who knows me, I love cats. I grew up with them, love playing with them, picking them up, just having them hang out with me. If you have one at your home I will definitely be sidetracked by giving them scritches. I’ve even put a cat in my latest WIP. On Sundays one of our local pet stores works with a local adoption agency (adorably called Fuzzy Butt Rescue) and this past weekend we found ourselves…maybe thinking that we could finally make this work.

The last time I had one for a pet was at least a few decades ago, so it’s been a while. We mostly avoided it because of our traveling and work schedules or not being home, but things have changed over the years and one or both of us would be here for a significant amount of time to watch over one (or two).

This of course also led to an extended conversation over brunch on Sunday regarding what we’d have to change in our current lifestyle to make this work. What plants we’d have to move to higher places or donate to our horticultural neighbor. What toys and tchotchkes we’d have to store away. What yarn stashes we’d have to put elsewhere or at least put in enclosed places. What I’d have to move around or put away in Spare Oom. And the conversation I’d have with our landlord to get permission. [That in particular I think we’d be able to handle with reasonable ease, as they love us, we’re responsible, and we even own a carpet cleaner if there’s an…event. Plus, a few of our neighbors have dogs so it’s only fair.]

I do love the idea of an office cat, really. Having a goofball fuzzbutt hanging out with me in Spare Oom while I write is a fine idea to me. And thankfully we’re both cat people and having them sleep with us on the bed is just groovy.

Like I said…it’s not set in stone yet, but it’s certainly something I want to set into motion.

Cattiness

Image courtesy of bluehedgehogs on Imgur

There is really no reason why one of my recent novel projects has a Maine coon cat in it. I mean, other than the fact that I’m surprised I never had cats in any of my previous books or stories, given how much I love them.

Okay, maybe there is a reason, but it’s not a Chekov’s cat. It’s just that the comically large, floofy and cranky kitty happens to be the pet of the two main characters. [Her name is Grizelda, by the way, Grizz for short.] I had no real plans to have the cat get involved in any of the shenanigans that unfold in this novel other than having one of them be the doting mom (fussing and giving scritches and belly rubs and letting her sit on the kitchen table when she shouldn’t be up there) and the other be the mom with withering patience (pulling her off said kitchen table, ensuring she gets fed on time, lines up appointments with the vet).

My point being, this is the first time I’ve used a living being as a way to show part of a character’s personality. They both love Grizzy despite her incessant crankiness and chattiness. They both care about her and miss her dearly when they head out on what is initially a few weeks’ vacation, and worry about her when said vacation ends up being longer than planned. Grizz doesn’t have a role like Einstein the dog does in Cowboy Bebop; she’s just there doing cat things and living her best cat life — including making sure her humans behave, don’t get into trouble, and feed her every now and again.

And, no big surprise, the Grizelda scenes I’ve written are always a joy to write!